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North Korean rocket crashes into Yellow Sea soon after launch

13.04.2012  |  12:32

South Korea's navy has launched a salvage operation to retrieve the debris from North Korea's failed rocket launch, a military spokesman said.

AP photo South Korea's navy has launched a salvage operation to retrieve the debris from North Korea's failed rocket launch, a military spokesman said.North Korea has admitted its launch of a long-range rocket failed after it broke up and fell into the Yellow Sea.The failure of the supposed Unha-3 rocket, which the US says was actually a long-range ballistic Taepodong-2 missile, is a major setback for the North's regime. The launch has attracted international condemnation and the UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting later Friday, says ABC Online. North Korean rocket launches in the past have flown over parts of southern Japan, heightening tensions in the buildup to Friday's failed launched. In a press conference, Japanese lawmaker Osamu Fujimura told people to "stay calm and go about their normal business," the Daily Yomiuri reported.However, Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto complained on Twitter that there had been no government statement on the rocket until 8:31 a.m. -- nearly an hour after the launch."Information from the television was much faster," he said.China Daily ran a piece saying, "DPRK launch is just a pretext." "Japan hopes to use the DPRK's satellite launch to examine its missile defense capabilities under simulated conditions," said the opinion piece in the state-run publication. The launch is a "proactive policy for containing China and reinforcing its hold on islands it seized from China", informs CNN International. Masao Okonogi, a Korea specialist at Japan's Kyushu University, said the failure of a launch that Pyongyang had sought to turn into a celebration of the new regime could have significant political implications for its leader."The most important result is the loss of prestige for Kim Jong-eun," Mr Okonogi said.Mr Okonogi said Japan and western nations should expect North Korea to seek to recover prestige through other provocative moves involving missile development or nuclear weapons.North Korea last launched a long-range missile in 2009, which it said carried a satellite into orbit, but the US and Japan dismissed those claims.

It followed that launch with a nuclear test. South Korean media have reported that North Korea is planning another nuclear test, according to Financial Times.  .



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